I make installation-based work centering on animal issues, and in particular places where animals intersect with cultural studies, history, or science.
This project, named after the first scientific paper published about color-blindness, questions the presumed superiority of human “full-color vision” through recent research involving mice. The dual-colored lenses in the phoropter allow the viewer to see two different versions of the vision-test-like poster: one that describes normal human color vision with 3 kinds of color sensors; and one the describes normal mouse vision with 2 kinds of color sensors. Additional information on the poster describes the way mice have been genetically altered to have 3 photoreceptors, while an image simulating normal mouse vision appears on the wall, demonstrating that mice can see patterns that human eyes cannot detect due to an overload of color information acting as camouflage. The three blind mice on the surgical table are tied into a copy of H.G. Well’s short story, “The Country of the Blind” which questions whether or not the old dictum is true, “In the Country of the Blind,
is the one-eyed man really king?” Does our idea of “superiority” really reflect the truth, or are we too quick to label something a “disability?”
The mouse vision images and information about this research comes courtesy of http://zoomorph.net, which is a fascinating project worth looking into on its own.